Australia is in the midst of one of the worst bushfire crises the world has seen. Since September, entire communities have been engulfed by relentless heat and fires.
The flames are showing no signs of slowing down - which means only one thing... death tolls are rising.
The country as a whole has been working tirelessly, and thousands of tradespeople have signed up to work for free to help struggling communities.
Keep scrolling to find out more...
Australia is being ravished by one of the worst bush fire crises the world has seen in decades.
via: Getty ImagesDue to soaring temperatures and one of the worst droughts in years, the relentless fires have been burning since September. We're currently in January. Just let that sink in.
New South Wales is suffering immensely at the moment.
via: Getty ImagesThere have been fires reported in every state, but New South Wales is truly taking a beating by bush fires and is undoubtedly the hardest hit. More than 5,900 buildings have been destroyed.
NSW declared a state of emergency last month.
via: Getty ImagesWhat does this mean? Well, it grants "extraordinary powers" to the NSWRFS commissioner, including the authority to allocate government resources and direct government agencies in taking action, according to CNN.
Twenty-nine people have been confirmed to have died in the fires since they started...
via: Getty ImagesIncluding several volunteer firefighters.
The fires have also had a devasting impact on wildlife.
via: Getty ImagesSeveral of Australia's native species have been affected including kangaroos, koalas, wallabies, possums, wombats, and echidnas.
Over one billion animals have died.
via: Getty ImagesCBS News reports that it's thought now over one billion mammals, birds, and reptiles have died since September.
The Australian fire services have also been struggling...Firefighters all over the country have been tirelessly battling the formidable blazes and are struggling to contain them, and the fire services are truly stretched to their limits.
Australia has ultimately been forced to make a global call for help...
via: Getty ImagesAnd it was Canada that was the first to respond and take action. The Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre, based in Winnipeg, answered the call for help after realizing the bush fire situation is expected to continue for many more weeks and they even gave up their Christmases to help fight the raging fires.
Other countries offered their assistance...
via: Getty ImagesIncluding the U.S. and New Zealand, who have sent in more firefighters to try and help tackles the blazes.
Volunteers have been stepping forward all around the country...
via: CBCOrdinary people with regular professions have been volunteering to help tackle the flames and they have been working for free.
How long could the fires actually be burning for?
via: Getty ImagesSadly, Australia has only just entered summer, meaning temperatures could remain high for some weeks. In fact, temperatures usually reach their highest during January and February, so there may be no end in sight for months.
The assistance from global fire services has been very much appreciated...
via: Getty ImagesAnd the volunteers have shown incredible bravery to leave behind their homes and tackle the fires head-on.
But it isn't just the fire services who have been volunteering...
via: Getty ImagesIt has just emerged that thousands of tradespeople have been volunteering to work for free to help struggling communities.
Australia's "tradies" are working together to help rebuild homes and communities...
via: Getty ImagesPeople who work in the trade industry, such as electricians, plumbers, carpenters, and builders, have been signing up to work for free on communities that have been seriously damaged from the fires.
The volunteer group was started by Melbourne-based carpenter Piers Smart...
via: FacebookAnd it so far has had 4,000 tradies and 5,000 volunteers sign up.
Smart wasn't thinking at all about financial gain...
via: Getty Images"I was at home trying to think of ways I could help and unfortunately financially I was unable to. But I could offer my weekends as a chippy (carpenter) going up and helping with clearing or rebuilding," he said to the local press.
But he didn't expect the surge of volunteers that he got...
"I thought there must be more people who have a trade or a skill who want to do the same. I started this Facebook group thinking I’d get 50 people or something like that and it’s turned into 9000 people on the Facebook page," he explained."We’ve launched the website to register trade formally so we can form a database. We’ve had 4000 individuals sign up there over a week now."
Smart's group is looking for everybody and anybody...
via: FacebookThat ranges from "arborists, concreters, asbestos removalists and riggers" to do jobs including "hay runs, tool drops, and tool runs for communities that need them."
Robert Johnstone is a carpenter from Melbourne who has been volunteering for the group...
via: Simon Schluter
"We’ve been down [in Gippsland and Bairnsdale] in relief centers, and seeing lots of lost homes destroyed where people are just in complete shock," Johnstone said."We go down to provide initial relief, and help to rebuild lives."
The amount of people selflessly volunteering is truly incredible.
via: Getty ImagesAll we can do for now is hope and pray that the fires will begin to diminish, and we send our praises out to the heroes of Australia.